fireplace remodel question. Cannot decide on mantel height.

janesylviaMay 13, 2013

My current fireplace is ugly and is 38" high including surrounding bricks. The ceiling is 8' high. There is enough space above the fireplace to have a TV hung on the wall.

I am going to have the fireplace remodeled. I'll have a contractor put in the new door, remove all the bricks and pave marbles, and add mantel. In order to have a 53"--56" TV hung on the wall above the fireplace, what would be the optimal height of the mantel, about 42" or below 48" would be fine?

By the way, is this door very good? Pleasant Hearth AN-1012 Alpine Fireplace Glass Door, Black, Large

Thank you very much.

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Just make sure he is going to put a decent mantle in. I was horrified when I saw, yesterday, the mantle they chose!

I freaked!

But you need a few inches below your TV. That's your big job. The contractor should give you a substantial mantle (not a cheap thing you could DIY).

Why do you need extra inches above the mantle and below the TV? Well, for the flowers and the candles.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 6:16PM
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One thing we thought about, since we have the same situation almost:

The mantle has to be high enough that it is safe from the fire (assuming it is flammable) Once you do that you may find that the TV is uncomfortably high on the wall for comfortable watching. I would put a cardboard / paper cutout on the wall where you think the TV will be, then sit in your favorite chair and stare at the middle of it for a while and pretend you are watching TV. (Remember that a lot of the action on the TV will happen about the mid point or above.)

Alternately, sit in your favorite chair and relax. then find the spot on the wall that is at the center of your vision. That's about where you want your TV mounted.

We looked at that, realised that there was no room for a TV above the fireplace an put it in the kitchen. Thats where we spend most of our time anyways, and it means I can watch cooking shows while I cook :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:44PM
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With only an 8' ceiling and a TV that's as large as half that size, above a fireplace is NOT going to be comfortable or proportionate for it's location. You'd need to be back 15' at least from the fireplace to see the TV at a comfortable angle for your neck. A TV that large needs to barely be elevated off of the floor for the proper viewing angle. 24" tops.

Plus, the fire code will dictate the non flammable area required around the firebox. Check with your local fire department or code enforcement for guidance on how to plan a safe and legal surround.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:07AM
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desertdance, thank you very much for sharing your experience. I need to buy all the materials. I'll find a picture of fireplace that I like online, and buy the mantel materials. The contractor will then assemble and install them.

Fynite, thank you very much for your help. You mean an MDF or wood mantel needs to be high enough for safety reason? Would 42" or 45" be high enough? I definitely don't want the TV to be on an uncomfortably high position.

Really appreciate your help.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Thank you very much for your information, GreenDesigns.

Is electric fireplace a good choice in order not to have the height restricted by fire code?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:50AM
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for a traditional fireplace, you would need to look up the code where you live. I believe the code is usually expressed in terms of x inches from top of the fireplace opening. So you would need to know how high the top of that is first. I have no idea what code is for electric fireplaces (assuming this is one that heats the air. If it's just a screen that shows a merrily burning fire but produces no heat, like our local sandwich shop has, you can probably do whatever you want.)

Also, the TV may have it's own specs that say "must be X inches above heat source to avoid damage to TV" though usually you can reduce this distance by having a deeper mantle, or by having the TV recessed so the heat passes in front of it instead of washing across it. I suspect that for that it may not matter if the fireplace is gas, electric, or wood, as if it is hot enough to heat the house then it is hot enough to damage the TV if the TV gets to close. But I haven't looked at that explicitly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:48PM
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From Samsung, indirectly, and I'm not sure how old it is:

"Samsung LCD TVs have an operating temperature range of 50ð F to 104ð F (10ð C to 40ð C). Samsung Plasma TVs have an operating temperature range of 32ð F to 104ð F (0ð C to 40ð C). Temperatures outside the listed ranges will affect the operation of these TVs. Consequently, hanging an LCD or Plasma TV over a working fireplace or a heater, or subjecting it to near or below freezing temperatures is not a good idea."

So, not above the fireplace, and not in the walk in freezer. Got it. :)

Doesn't mention LED TVs. I know I have seen a spec sheet for how high the TV needs to be above a heat source for a given type and size of mantle and a specific inset depth, but I am not finding that info easily available.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Fynite, thank you so much for your detailed information, very helpful.

It looks like it's not recommended to put TV above fireplace, even with deeper mantel or recessed TV, or electric fireplace. Got it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:19PM
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